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ENTERED according to the act of the Congress of the United States, A D. 1834, by ALBERT BARNES, in the office of the Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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THE Epistle to the Romans has been usually regarded as the most difficult portion of the New Testament. It is from this cause, probably, as well as from the supposition that its somewhat abstruse discussions could not be made interesting to the young, that so few efforts have been made to introduce it into Sunday Schools and Bible Classes. It will doubtless continue to be a fact, that Sunday School instruction will be confined chiefly to the historical parts of the Bible. In the Sacred Scriptures there is this happy adaptedness to the circumstances of the world, that so large a portion of the volume can thus be made interesting to the minds of children and youth; that so much of it is occupied with historical narrative; with parables; with interesting biographies of the holy men of other times, and with the life of our blessed Lord. But still, while this is true, there is a considerable portion of the youth, in various ways under the instruction of the Bible, who may be interested in the more abstruse statements and discussions of the doctrinal parts of the Holy Scriptures. For suchfor Sunday School teachers; for Bible Classes; and for the higher classes in Sabbath Schools, these Notes have been prepared. The humble hope has been cherished that this epistle might be introduced to this portion of the youth of the churches; and thus tend to imbue their minds with correct views of the great doctrines of the Christian Revelation.

This object has been kept steadily in view. The design has not been to make a learned commentary; nor to enter into theological discussions; nor to introduce, at length, practical reflections; nor to enter minutely into critical investigations. All these can be found in books professedly on these subjects. The design has been to state, with as much brevity and simplicity as possible, the real meaning of the sacred writer; rather the results of critical inquiry, as far as the author has had ability and time to pursue it, than the process by which those results were reached. The design has been to state what appeared to the author to be the real meaning of the Epistle, without any regard to any existing theological system; and without any deference to the opinions of others, further than the respectful deference and candid examination, which are due to the opinions of the learned, the wise, and the good, who have made this epistle their particular study. At the same time that this object has been kept in view, and the reference to the Sabbth School teacher, and the Bible Class, has given cha racter to the work, still it is hoped that the expositions are of such a nature as not to be uninteresting to Christians of every age and of every class. He accomplishes a service of no little moment in the cause of the church of God, and of truth, who contributes in any degree to explain the profound argument, the thorough doctrinal discussion, the elevated views, and the vigorous, manly, and masterly reasonings of the Epistle to the Romans.

Of the defects of this work, even for the purpose contemplated, no one will probably be more deeply sensible than the author. Of the time and labor ne. cessary to prepare even such brief Notes as these, few persons, probably, are aware. This work has been prepared amidst the cares and toils of a most reponsible pastoral charge. My brethren in the ministry, so far as they may have occasion to consult these Notes, will know how to appreciate the cares and anx ieties amidst which they have been prepared. They will be indulgent to the faults of the book; they will not censure harshly what is well-meant for the ri sing generation; they will be the patrons of every purpose, however humble, to do good.


It remains only to add, that free use has been made e f all the helps within the reach of the author. The language of other writers has not been adopted without particular acknowledgment, but their ideas have been freely used where they were thought to express the sense of the text. In particular, aid has been sought and obtained from the following works: the CRITICI SACRI, CALVIN'S COMMENTARY ON THE ROMANs, Doddridge, MACKNIGHT, and ROSENMULLER ; and the commentaries of THOLUCK and FLATT-So far as an imperfect know ledge of the German language could render their aid available. A considerable portion was written before Professor STUART's Commentary appeared. In the remaining portion, important aid has been freely derived from that work. The aim of this work is substantially the same as that of the "Notes on the Gospels," and on the Acts of the Apostles; and the earnest wish and prayer of the author is, that it may be one among many means of establishing the truth, and of promoting its advancement and ultimate triumph in the world. Philadelphia, June 14, 1834.



Notwithstanding the difficulty of correcting a work which is stereotyped, the following Notes have undergone a careful revision, and several alterations have been made. The changes refer to a few phrases which did not accurately express my meaning, and to some entire paragraphs. My desire has been to make the work as little exceptionable as possible. Some expressions in the former editions have been misunderstood; some are now seen to have been ambiguous; a few that have given offence have been changed, because, without abandoning any principle of doctrine or interpretation, I could convey my ideas in language more acceptable, and less fitted to produce offence. The changes (occurring in pp. 94. 95.96. 108. 115. 117. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 128. entirely re-written, 146. and 192,) have been made with a wish to make the work more useful, and with a desire to do all that can be done, without abandoning principle, to promote peace and to silence the voice of alarm. On some of these passages, as is extensively known to the public, charges of inculcating dangerous doctrines have been alleged against me before the Presbytery of which I am a member. After a fair and full trial the Presbytery acquitted me; and I have taken the opportunity after the trial was passed and I had been acquitted, to make these changes for the sake of peace, and not to appear to have been urged to make them by the dread of a trial.

When the work was first published, it was not anticipated that more than two or three editions would be demanded. The fact that, within less than eight months, a fourth edition should be called for, is a source of gratitude, and an inaucement to do all that can be done to make the work as complete as possible, that it may more perfectly accomplish the design for which it was written. Some of the alterations have been made by the suggestions of friends; some by the cry of alarm which has been raised, but, whether from the one or the other, I hold that an author should be grateful for all the suggestions which may go to improve his works, and shuld amend them accordingly. ALBERT BARNES.

Philadelphia, July 15 1835.




THIS Epistle has been, with great uniformity, attributed to the apostle Paul, and received as a part of the sacred canon. It has never in the church been called in question as a genuine, an inspired book, except by three of the ancient sects deemed heretical-the Ebionites, the Encratites, and Cerinthians. But they did not deny that it was written by the apostle Paul. They rejected it because they could not make its doctrines harmonize with their views of other parts of the Scriptures. Their rejecting it, therefore, does not militate against its genuineness. That is a question to be settled historically, like the genuineness of any other ancient writing. On this point the testimony of antiquity is uniform. The proof on this subject may be seen at length in Lardner's works. The internal evidence that this was written by Paul is stated in a most ingenious and masterly manner by Dr. Paley in his Hore Paulinæ.

It is agreed by all, that this epistle was written in Greek. Though addressed to a people whose language was the Latin, yet this epistle to them, like those to other churches, was in Greek. On this point also, there is no debate.-The reasons why this language was chosen were probably the following. (1.) The epistle was designed doubtless to be read by other churches as well as the Roman. Comp. Col. iv. 16. Yet the Greek language, being generally known and spoken, was more adapted to this design than the Latin. (2.) The Greek language was then understood at Rome, and extensively spoken. It was a part of polite education to learn it. The Roman youth were taught it; and it was the fashion of the times to study it, even so much so as to make it matter of complaint that the Latin was neglected for it by the Roman youth. Thus Cicero (Pro. Arch.) says, The Greek language is spoken in almost all nations; the Latin is confined to our comparatively narrow borders. Tacitus (Orator 29) says, An infant born now is committed to a Greek nurse. Juvenal (vi. 185) speaks of its being considered as an indispensable part of polite education, to be acquainted with the Greek. (3.) It is not impossible that the Jews at Rome, who constituted a separate colony, were better acquainted with the Greek than the Latin. They had a Greek, but no Latin translation of the Scriptures, and it is very possible that they used the language in which they were accustomed to read their Scriptures, and which was extensively spoken by their brethren throughout the world. (4.) The apostle was himself probably more familiar with the Greek, than the Latin. He was a native of Cilicia, where the Greek was doubtless spoken, and he not unfrequently quotes the Greek poets in his addresses and epistles. Acts xxi. 37; xvii. 28. Titus i. 12. 1 Cor. xv. 33.

This epistle is placed first among Paul's epistles, not because it was the first written, but because of the length and importance of the epistle itself, and A 2


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